Questions about the mitzvah to study Torah, and the nature of Torah study

learn more… | top users | synonyms (3)

13
votes
2answers
271 views

Why are these tractates, “Yeshivish Mesechtos”?

There is a cycle of tractates in the Talmud that are learned in Yeshiva each year. This is an exclusive list, where only a small number of volumes are covered in the curriculum. There must be some ...
4
votes
0answers
74 views

Slide Rule on Shabbos/Yom Tov

May a slide rule (mechanical device before calculators) can be used on Shabbos for Gemara calculations?
2
votes
3answers
70 views

Brisker Shiurim Online

I am looking for advanced Shiurim online which teach Gemara in the Brisker fashion, does anyone know if any (preferably free) classes are available online?
4
votes
3answers
149 views

what is the first thing to teach total beginners

Looking to teach a total beginner (i.e. someone not yet interested in following any halachas) college student for kiruv purposes. What is the best part of torah to teach first? Is it better (for ...
3
votes
5answers
314 views

The Layman's Masechta (Mishnayoth) for a Siyum

What is a good Masechta of Mishnayoth for someone to learn if they just want to get a basic understanding and complete a Masechta in a relatively short time? Examples where this would be practical ...
7
votes
2answers
88 views

What level of understanding is required in “learning” for purposes of making a siyum?

When learning as part of a coordinated group siyum, what level of understanding of the material is expected/required? How do you know if you've done enough to fulfill the mitzvah? Is it about effort ...
4
votes
3answers
132 views

Can women participate in learning for a group siyum?

When somebody is organizing learning for a coordinated siyum (e.g. for a yahrzeit), I'm never sure whether as a woman I can sign up to help (assuming I can meet the expected level of learning). Are ...
1
vote
2answers
101 views

How does one calculate how much time to devote to torah learning and how much time for livelihood?

In Judaism, the study of torah is considered above all else. However, there is also a need to be able to provide for one's family. How does one calculate the amount of time one should devote to torah ...
0
votes
1answer
48 views

Benefits of studying Ramak's Pardes Rimmonim vs. R. Vital's Etz Chayim?

Curious if anyone has a definitive answer on whether Ramak's Pardes Rimmonim should be studied adjacent to R. Vital's Etz Chayim, before it, or not at all? I've heard various approaches to Ramak from ...
1
vote
0answers
69 views

Exact text from Rav Eliyahu Lopian's “Lev Eliyahu” citing a maase from the Chofetz Chaim

I read some time ago in Rav Eliyahu Lopian's "Lev Eliyahu" an amazing idea. However, I don't have the book and I'm looking for it online but cannot find it. He brought a story on the Chofetz Chaim ...
5
votes
2answers
269 views

Learning Kabbalah from other students of the Arizal?

It says in Sforim that one shouldn't learn Kabbalah from any of the students of the Arizal except for R' Chaim Vital (as they didn't understand the Arizal properly). I have never seen such a worry ...
3
votes
1answer
55 views

Why are Torah study and trips, specifically, banned on the 8th of Av?

The Rama, Orach Chayim 553, says: The practice is that we do not study [Torah] the day before the ninth of Av from midday on, except such matters as are permitted [study material] on the ...
3
votes
3answers
185 views

What are the main source texts for the chavruta and teacher-student models in Jewish learning?

I'm working on an outline for a short presentation on how new online tools, especially this site, interact with the traditional Jewish learning models of chavruta and teacher-student. What are the ...
5
votes
3answers
96 views

Amailut (trying hard/ toiling) to learn Torah

What's the source for amailut (trying hard/ toiling) to learn Torah? Is there any benefit to try learning Torah on your own without help, when you can learn Torah through asking others and looking ...
6
votes
7answers
175 views

References for learning Aggada

I often run into aggadic passages in the Talmud, and would like to get a list of references beyond the standard 4 (Ein Yaakov, Maharsha, Benayahu/Ben Yehoyada and the Chiddushei Aggados of the ...
4
votes
3answers
68 views

How can one find a Gemarah Havruta in NYC?

For someone that has some basic gemarah skills with experience in learning the gemarah together with Rashi and Tosefot, what's a good resource for finding a daily havruta to study with in Brooklyn, ...
-2
votes
1answer
93 views

Do we have old ancient torah manuscript?

http://abcnews.go.com/International/worlds-oldest-complete-torah-scroll-found-italian-professor/story?id=19280022 It is said that this so called oldest complete torah scroll is only 800 years old. ...
13
votes
8answers
1k views

How to learn gemara independently

Is there an organized path that a Ba'al Teshuva can follow to learn Gemara and prepare the Daf by himself? I mean after he is able to learn with Artscroll.
3
votes
2answers
90 views

Making Nedarim (vows) and Shevuot (oaths) while teaching or learning

Sometimes I wonder if when people are learning or quoting things they say things in the name of people, would that count as them making a Neder? For example the teacher says "Yaakov said: I will give ...
10
votes
1answer
224 views

Can one make a siyum mesechta if it was learned in English?

If someone has some trouble with Aramaic and learned parts of a mesechta in English (for example with an Artscroll Gemara), can he still make a siyum?
2
votes
0answers
83 views

Can a Nazir drink wine if it is part of a holiday observance?

One who takes a Nazarite vow cannot drink wine (or partake of product that uses grapes). I understand that this is to help the Nazir remain focused on God instead of being overcome by other forces ...
2
votes
2answers
256 views

Yalkut Yosef or Mishneh Torah for a Sephardic Jew?

My Hebrew is rusty and my knowledge of all the halachot is equally rusty. I want to take on a new project to complete either one of those compilations. For someone coming from a Sephardic heritage, ...
8
votes
1answer
132 views

What are some good resources for finding the meaning of unfamiliar Hebrew and Aramaic words in Acharonim?

I have no trouble using Jastrow for Tanach and Shas but I find it difficult to apply to Acharonim. How might I use it more effectively? Are there peculiarities of grammar I'm missing? For a few ...
-3
votes
3answers
166 views

If staring at women is such a big aveira how come rabbis are permitted to give shiurim to women?

There are many great rabbis that I know who also give classes to women. Every where else I see that guarding your eyes is of crucial importance, but how are rabbis who look directly at women for long ...
3
votes
2answers
119 views

Why were there no Jewish philosophy tracts until the Rasag?

Jews had their first bump into philosophy when Alexander the Great conquered Israel (in the early Tanaic period). Since then, we lived under the Greeks and Romans for a few hundred years. Both of ...
3
votes
0answers
54 views

Making siyum on learning that “over laps”

A person started learning a mesecta. When he got through half the mesecta he continued learning however he also went back and started learning from the beginning again. He got to the end of the ...
14
votes
5answers
742 views

Minimum Age to Learn Kabbalah?

How old do you have to be to learn Kabbalah? (I think its 60 ) but it seems everyone learns it anyway (Maharal, Chassidus). Is there a defense or is it just done?
3
votes
1answer
82 views

What can one learn on Tisha B'Av?

What are you allowed to learn on Tisha B'Av in general particularity which Gemara's?
3
votes
1answer
167 views

Are there Torah Moocs (Massive Online Open Courses)?

In the past couple years MOOCs (Massive Online Open Courses) have become more and more popular and well known. ...
11
votes
4answers
415 views

Why are some words in Tanach read differently than they are written?

From here: The MT [Masoretic Text] includes the kere and ketiv system, in which marginal notes indicate that certain words are to be read differently than they are spelled in the text, or that ...
4
votes
2answers
131 views

Can learning non-torah subjects count as talmud torah?

If someone learns math in order to better understand a gemarah or studies self-help material as a form of mussar in order to be a better person do these types of learning qualify as talmud torah?
12
votes
4answers
1k views

Is it muttar to whistle?

Is it allowed for a Jew to whistle? If yes, is it even allowed on Shabbos? If no, why not? Has anyone ever heard that if one whistles at night, that it attracts sheidim and mazikin? And what are the ...
3
votes
2answers
96 views

Good resource for in-depth study of Haftorah?

Is there a good source for in-depth study of the weekly haftorah? I'm thinking of things like historical references, explanations of prophecies, etc. Online or print would work. Something that will ...
4
votes
4answers
114 views

English books for better understanding of Jewish thought?

I consider myself a "Christian" (as in a "follower of 'Christ'"), and I am interested in learning more about Judaism, so that I can better understand the Jewish roots of Christianity. I've gotten ...
3
votes
2answers
165 views

What's the most efficient method for learning biblical Hebrew?

I have gone through some basic schooling at a modern yeshiva. For 10 years I haven't touched a Chumash, but would like to get back into it. I have started reading the Artscroll Chumash--reading the ...
4
votes
1answer
105 views

Listening to a woman giving shiur

Can a man listen to a woman give a shiur (Torah class)? Does it matter if it's not in a class format — like, let's say it's on a CD?
2
votes
1answer
74 views

Near a bad smell, one might want to do Sh'ma, the Amidah, blessings, study, or think Torah. Is halacha equally strict about all five acts?

"Just as one separates oneself from excreta, urine, a foul odor, a corpse and the sight of nakedness for Kri'at Shema, so too, he should separate himself for Shemoneh Esreh". —Rambam. Hilchos ...
4
votes
0answers
65 views

Do Sephardim have their own style of learning that differs from the styles of other sects of Judaism?

For Litvish it's depth, predominantly in the Talmud. For Chasidim it's breadth of the Talmud and other sources. Do sephardim have their own unique style of Torah study?
1
vote
3answers
161 views

Saying Rishonim or Achronim were “wrong”

People are very careful (and rightfully so) to say when they don't understand the words of the Achronim or Rishonim to not say they are/were "wrong". But rather to say "I don't understand what he ...
11
votes
3answers
357 views

Satmar Derech Halimud

I was curious as to what the Derech Halimud (learning style) is for Satmar Chassidim. I understand that the general Chassidish Derech (Chassidic style) is one that moves at a quicker pace with not as ...
1
vote
0answers
31 views

Is it always a good idea to say an extra Shema' if you missed one?

According to Double AA's answer on a related question, "it can't hurt" to say an extra Shema' later if you missed the Zeman (set time) for it. While it may be true to a certain extent that saying ...
6
votes
2answers
133 views

Source for the concept of learning 1 hour on Shabbat is like 1000 during the week?

There is a Benayahu on Taanit 11a I think that may hint to this, but not clear enough. Is there an actual source for "1 hour learning on shabbat is like 1000 hours during the week"?
10
votes
3answers
205 views

Can you learn during chazarat hashatz?

Are you allowed to learn Torah silently during the chazzan's repetition of Shmonah Esrei? (This is a case where you are davening with that minyan.)
3
votes
0answers
41 views

What lesson do we learn from Abraham paying money for the Cave of Machpelah?

In Genesis, we see that Abraham makes Ephron accept money for the Cave of Machpelah in order to bury Sarah. He is offered the cave for free, but insists on paying the full price. This sort of story ...
2
votes
1answer
75 views

learning non-jewish topics as a creative process

Is 'learning' non-Jewish topics a prohibited creative process on Shabbat? If so, on what grounds is learning Tanakh exempted? I read that the study non-Jewish subjects is banned or frowned upon, and I ...
5
votes
1answer
135 views

Does torah study refine one's character?

I have met some torah scholars who appear to be learning quite a bit, yet their character traits appear to be in the lacking. Is torah study supposed to refine one's character? If so, how can we ...
13
votes
4answers
877 views

Which passages comprise the classic Tikkun Leil Shavuot?

As we count down to Shavuot, I find myself wondering: [First, some background for those who don't know what a Tikkun Leil Shavuot is] According to tradition, we overslept the morning of Matan Torah ...
13
votes
4answers
809 views

What is the machlokes between the Gra and Ba'al HaTanya?

What is the famous argument between the Vilna Gaon and the Ba'al HaTanya in understanding the Sod HaTzimtzum? And what are some ma'areh mekomos in their works where this Machlokes is seen?
6
votes
2answers
250 views

Is it permitted to learn in kollel without earning a living?

Based on this post which states in part: Ramoh in Yoreh Deah, 246:21 “A person should hire himself out for alien work rather than requiring assistance from others”; “The man who is ...
8
votes
2answers
177 views

How does Hillel's answer summarize the whole Torah?

In Shabbos 31a, Hillel addresses a potential convert who asks him to summarize the whole Torah, and he says, "What is hateful to you, do not do to others." This is a nice d'var Torah, but it seems to ...